A little peace for owners of torched dog Codie as a new pet is welcomed into family
After the total devastation of losing their beloved dog Codie last month, the Agnew family have opened their hearts to a new pup.
Natalie Agnew beamed with joy as she snuggled up to her new border collie pup yesterday.
The Lisburn woman admitted to still grieving for her beloved Codie who was put down last month after being callously set alight by thugs.
However, the family has now reached out and given a loving home to an abandoned puppy from the Doghouse Sanctuary in Banbridge.
The little black and white border collie is so similar in appearance to Codie that it could pass for one of her siblings.
Natalie revealed that the new pup will be called Paz, which is Spanish for peace, in honour of what happened to Codie.
Little Paz is one of eight collie pups found abandoned in a box in the Banbridge area.
The dogs were rescued and brought to the Doghouse, which looks after dogs destined to be destroyed by local councils.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph as she nursed and fawned over Paz, Natalie said that getting a new dog has evoked a mixture of emotions.
“It is very exciting, of course. However, it is also a reminder of what happened to Codie, which we are all still struggling with.
“The kids were intent on getting another border collie. I think they are trying to replace Codie, but I had to explain to them that this is a completely different dog.
“We all still really miss Codie and know this is a new start, but it certainly isn't a replacement for her.
“There is only one Codie and we will never forget her lovely, friendly and hyper ways.
“The wee dog is just adorable and it will be loved and probably overprotected.
“It will hopefully help our boys find a new focus and help us all through this.
“The boys are so excited they have hardly been able to sleep all week.
“Their school friends and teachers are all keen to meet the new arrival, too,” Natalie said.
Gillian McFadden, who runs the Doghouse Sanctuary, said that she is delighted Paz is going to a lovely home, but added that cruelty to dogs is all too common in this country.
“We have 20 dogs in the sanctuary at the minute who have been abandoned or seriously abused.
“The case of Codie was horrendous but it is not isolated.
“We have become a throwaway culture and people think it is acceptable to just dump dogs when they get bored of them.
“I also do not have any time for the excuse that people can no longer afford to keep a dog. A tin of dog food is just 40p.
“I am sure these people find the money for alcohol and takeaways etc,” she added.
Gillian said her long-term goal is to increase the capacity of the sanctuary and introduce compulsory neutering to prevent unwanted puppies.
The Doghouse Sanctuary is appealing to members of the public to help it reach this goal by donating just £1.
“For more information log onto the Doghouse Sanctuary Facebook site.
There will also be a fundraising event in Codie's name at Stormont next month to help raise money for abused animals.
For details, log on to the Justice for Cody (sic) Facebook site.
Codie, the three-year-old border collie, had to be put to sleep on September 8 after being set alight near the Maghaberry home of the Agnew family in August. The extent of Codie’s burns were so severe that her ribs and joints were visible through her charred flesh.
The whole province united in disgust at the crime and there are currently 69,981 ‘likes’ on the Justice for Cody (sic) Facebook page
Two 21-year-old men were arrested in connection with the attack, but were released on bail pending further inquiries.